Above is Tiny Garden, part of the Pacific Shortcuts group exhibition at grey ) ( area in Korcula, Croatia. Andrew Hornblow and I collaborated on this work.
The tallest plant is around 100cm, or 38 inches. Thanks for the Croatia exhibition to Darko Fritz and Sani Sardelic. My work engages with the idea that everything is interconnected. This idea is found in indigenous and islander nations, in notions around integrated systems, systems thinking, cybernetics and permaculture. In World Tree Ensemble : Tiny Garden live data readings from the plants control what audio is heard and how the LED's flash.
The set up on the right measures the amount of blue and green light in the air, and the LEDs blink the data values. As it happens, in the photosynthesis process plants use light at the red and blue ends of the spectrum. Green is unused and discarded, which is why most photosynthesising things are green. Temperature is measured by the middle plant, and the value is blinked out and chirped out through a tiny speaker.
The plant on the left is being measured for its voltage level. When plants move nutrients around, this creates a small amount of flow which can be measured. The data is then blinked out and chirped out.
A range of components are used in the installation. Contemporary plastics sit along side wood, souvenirs of Fiji, an Edwardian chocolate box, household containers, recycled plastic bags, plants and electronics. The aim with this was to make a small scale integrated system that by extension unfolds out to the world outside, through the tendrils of culture, consumption and connection.
This set up is referred to as 'little data' as the data transmits from the plant to the LED's and speaker, perceptible by those in the installation space. Larger scale installations of World Tree Ensemble utilise the internet and connect global spaces - this is more in the character of big data, as many more layers of information are involved.